One of my hobbies is collecting Victorinox pocket knives.

History

The Victorinox company founded more than 125 years ago (since 1884) and the their (main) product - the Swiss Army Knife - introduced more than 120 years ago (since 1891).

1891 Soldier's Knife (Limited Edition replica)
1891 Soldier's Knife (Limited Edition replica)

In 1897, Victorinox introduced "the Swiss Army Officer's Knife" which included just a few features: a large blade, a small clip-point blade, a screwdriver, a can opener, a punch and a corkscrew. Since then every few years the company made improvements to the Swiss Army Knife such as changing meterials, improving tool design, and add new tools. Now days a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife includes up to 80 different features and even include electronics parts.

SwissChamp XXLT and XAVT (76+ features each)
SwissChamp XXLT and XAVT (76+ features each)


Why I like collecting Victorinox SAKs ?


The SAK (Swiss Army Knife) is a well known for its variety of features, which made the term "Swiss Army knife" entered popular culture as a metaphor for usefulness and adaptability.
And still explaining to a non-collectors why I like collecting Victorinox SAKs is not an easy job some times.
One way to explain it to non-collectors friends and co-workers from the software development world is comparing the Swiss Army Knife to a Software:

Any software engineer would love an oppertunity to take a well known successfull software project and compare different releases in order to see what refactroing made and what new features added from one releases to the next. However, Software is invisible and describing it usually done by multiple diagrams. Therefore, even if the source code would be avialable, observing those changes would not be simple.

By collecting SAKs I have a rare opportunity to observe the changes made to a well known successfull product. It is done by comparing SAKs from different decates (or even more small slices of time) and see the small changes made to the tools (equivalent to refactoring a software) and the new tools added (equivalent to adding new features to a software) during a long period of time (over 115 years).

91mm SAKs from 1943 to 2009
91mm SAKs from 1943 to 2009

At this point I usually get their attention. If not, I show them the variety of pretty colors available :)

Different Color Alox Cadets
Different Color Alox Cadets